Between early February (the beginning of spring on the lunar calendar) and the equinox, there is usually a gale from the south bringing warmer and more humid air over the archipelago.
This gale or storm is commonly known as haru ichiban (春一番).
Oddly enough, there was no haru ichiban in the Kanto region last year, and the warmest day so far this year was February 2nd, BEFORE the official period (it actually got to over 18 ℃!). Then yesterday, we had strong gales blowing in from the south. As a result, the weather is now just cool to cold as opposed to freezing.
Unfortunately for us living around here, the local market farmers usually plow up their fields just before this period, resulting in dust storms. I’m still washing yesterday’s dust out of my eyes. (And to think of the fuss the local media makes of the stuff that blows across from the Gobi Desert)
Also, as high and low pressure cells battle it out for supremacy, I can expect head winds from the north as I cycle to work, and head winds from the south as I cycle home. (In addition to dust storms!)